Lowry's elusive $4m football painting could score with top collectors

Fans of both art and football will be intrigued to hear that a highly valuable and rarely seen painting by LS Lowry will be auctioned at Christie's this coming May. Part of the '20th Century British Art' sale, the piece is currently owned by a private collector but has not been exhibited in almost 20 years. For alternative investors with an interest in the iconic sport or the renowned artist, this could be a once in a generation opportunity.

Laurence Stephen Lowry, born in 1887 in Stretford, UK, became famous for his depictions of the urban and industrial landscapes of Northern England. His characteristic 'matchstick men' and simple style are highly distinctive. Many of his paintings were filled with recurring motifs such as chimneys, rooftops, cranes and smokestacks.

The painting in question, entitled 'The Football Match', is quite unique in Lowry's canon. It is a large-format, panoramic, birds-eye view of a weekend football match in the middle of an industrial Northern town. In the midst of terraced houses and factories, a sizeable crowd is gathered around a pitch. In contrast, the surrounding streets lie relatively empty as the town converges on the match.


'The Football Match'
'The Football Match' by LS Lowry, set to sell for $4m at Christie's

Lowry painted this masterpiece in 1949, at the height of his powers. Its acclaim saw it tour London, America and Paris before being purchased and absorbed into a private collection. Although Lowry was a keen football fan and explored his passion several times on canvas, this piece is by far the best example. Furthermore, it contains so many of Lowry's trademark themes.

This is without doubt an exceptional event for admirers of Lowry or collectors of football memorabilia. 'The Football Match' would make an historic investment for a collector, clear in the pre-auction estimate of $3.5m-4.5m.

The potential for investment in art is obvious; but what about football?  As we highlighted in December last year, football medals and shirts can certainly make an excellent financial asset as well as a wonderful memento of a sporting event or achievement.

Investors with an eye towards the future might be interested in this signed photograph of Carlos Tevez - at only 26, the Argentinian forward has already established himself as a world-class player and will most likely continue to excite the footballing world for years to come. His autograph could make an inexpensive start to your collection.


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